How to deal with employees who don’t get along
“I can’t work with her she’s very snooty.”
“He is unprofessional.”
“I heard she was gossiping about me.”
How many of you have heard similar complaints from employees? I would often hear such stories from employees when I used to manage a team in my previous company.
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With all the time we spend at work, it’s no surprise that employees can have some issues with each other. You can blame it on their personalities, work habits, or other factors, but sometimes employees just don’t get along. Instead of acting like a closed-knit family, they act nothing less than warriors in a war zone.
A work environment where a lot of egos and clashes are involved, the overall productivity is bound to drop. Handling conflicts between employees are tricky. And it gets trickier if both the employees are experienced and hardworking professionals working on a project together.
It can be challenging for managers to create a workplace where employees can work together in perfect harmony and synergy with each other.
Here are some tips that can help you manage employees who don’t get along that well.
Identify the real issue
The conflicts between two employees are either because of their personal differences or other unknown factors. These factors can be anything from office gossip to X trying to sabotage Y’s image with a hidden agenda.
To make sure things don’t get worse, identify the root cause of the problem between them in the starting itself. Only then you would be able to get a permanent solution to the problem.
While identifying the real cause, it is better to listen to both sides of the story. Develop a neutral approach without any bias and try to come up with a solution which is mutually agreed upon by the employees in question.
Encourage them to work it out
Not every fight has to reach a manager. It is better if the problem is solved between the employees themselves. You are a manager not their teacher and this is a place of business, not a kindergarten.
Employees are expected to be self-sufficient and act cordially, if not friendly, with each other. Use your judgment wisely when it comes to addressing issues like these.
Encourage your employees to manage their issues on their own like mature adults. If they are unable to do so, only then you should step in considering the severity of the problem. Suggest them to have one-on-one meetings where they can talk about their issues openly.
Incorporate team building activities
Many employees don’t get along because they never got a reason to do so. If there are zero interactions, miscommunication or wrong perceptions can be easily formed by others.
To get rid of animosity between employees, you can incorporate team building exercises every now and then. According to a study, 45% of employees consider workplace fun and enjoyment an important part in their professional lives.
Team building activities can be perfect ice-breaking sessions between employees. These activities provide enough opportunity for them to interact in a non-professional set-up. So, don’t forget to surprise them with some fun activities every once in awhile.
Set the rules straight for every employee
At times, even after your best attempts, employees would be still at each other’s throats. When everything’s said and done, it’s time to set the rules straight for everyone in a team.
Gather everyone in a conference room and talk business. Remind them that they’ve been hired for a specific job. Having pleasant relationships with others is as much a part of their job expectations as any work assigned to them.
It’s important to bring it into their notice to behave cordially and show mutual respect for each other. Anything less than that won’t be accepted in the workplace.
Take help from HR professionals
Your HR team members are adept at handling employee conflicts. They have hands-on experience in resolving employee complaints.
Involving a HR manager will help employees to understand the seriousness of the issue. This will not only force them to mend their ways but other employees can also learn a lesson from this.
If you are unable to find a solution, you can ask the HR manager for some viable options to end the hostility at the workplace.
We understand such things are normal in every industry. But employees can only contribute to the success of an organization if the workplace has happy and good vibes.
To deal with constantly bickering employees, try to identify the issue, address it, and then follow up to solve it. It can work miracles to create the perfect work environment that will take overall productivity and efficiency to the all new heights.
“Want to become a leader who gets things done? If yes, then stop using email to manage work and switch to a project management software.”
Originally published at LinkedIn.com.
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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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